RJD leaders in Bihar call Nitish's decision to support Kovind a betrayal
Patna: While Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav has maintained a stoic silence, some of his party colleagues have lost their cool and vented their anger against chief minister Nitish Kumar for supporting Ram Nath Kovind who is a rival party candidate for the presidential election.
One party legislator Bhai Virendra has gone to the extent of calling him a traitor." If he is so much in love with the BJP-led NDA he should so say openly and leave our company. He should not behave like this", he told media persons on Thursday, a day after Nitish announced his support decision.
By siding with the NDA he has clearly shown that he does not care for the grand alliance of his he is a partner. He has betrayed with two other major partners, the RJD and the Congress .Every one in the alliance should take a serious note of this, Bhai said.
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, close supporter of Lalu sounded equally bitter. He,however, tried to underplay it by saying that he is not a big gun and that support of one or two persons like him will not affect the result either in this election or any one else.
Though Nitish's Janata Dal (U) has assured that the decision to support NDA candidate will not affect the alliance, the crack is visible. Nitish and Lalu have differed on many issues in the past too. Lalu had not liked his enemy-turned friend's statement in favour of demonetisation, to mention one.
Properties of family members of Lalu in Patna, Delhi and other places have been seized by the Income Tax department. Lalu has called it a political vendetta. But Nitish has not said much on the issue and largely tried to keep himself away. This too has irked some Lalu supporters who think that being a coalition partner Nitish should have condemned this action.
Nitish has had a flip-flop relationship with Lalu. There has been a break in his friendship with Lalu in the past too. He was with him in the Janata Dal which was fragmented after 1989. Leaving Lalu's company Nitish had joined hands with George Fernandes and Ram Vilas Paswan after the split and formed a new party-- Samata Party.
He had joined the NDA alliance later and was a appointed a minister at the Centre. The marriage lasted many years as with the BJP support he formed a government in the state. He separated in 2013 when Narendra Modi was declared the Prime Ministerial candidate. Perhaps he had eyed the position all these years and considered himself a better choice.
The same year he came back to Lalu and formed a government with him two years down the line. So far there has been no divorce.